I try not to get too offended by minor things. So for example, if a white guy was to say that he is not attracted to black women I wouldn’t take it to heart. That’s his preference, I prefer chocolate to milk so it’s not a big deal. Some guys don’t even like women at all, can’t be offended by that. However, one of my biggest gripes is the use of the N-word. I don’t like the word, I don’t like people using it in my presence like it is part of their vocabulary, I especially don’t like the fact that everyone in the world feels that they can say it because somehow it’s now become a cool word.
Apparently, a non-black celebrity posted herself on Instagram singing along to a song where they used the N-word. It wasn’t a random use of the word, it was part of the song, but it went viral and sparked a whole debate.
On social media, the question was asked whether a non-black person should use this word. Some people (non-black) have said it’s ok as this word has lost its power thanks to rappers and other black folk.
I don’t feel that the N-word should be used at all, by anyone, but my question is if you are not black, why do you want to use this word at all?
Just because as they say “you are invited to the cookout” or “you get a black pass”, doesn’t mean that this word still doesn’t have a derogatory meaning and like once again I ask, why?
Like a lot of ladies use the word “bitch” in their vocabulary. Sometimes in a derogatory way and sometimes to emphasise the word “girl”. If a man was to use this word and used the excuse that it was a term of endearment, he would have the whole #metoo movement after him.
Likewise with other communities, they have turned what was derogatory words used against them and made it part of their language, but if you are not in that community, you don’t know their struggle and so for you to use their terminology even as a joke, well you ostracised in these streets.
When I am in Ghana I hear the boys use the N-word a lot as a term of endearment. I don’t agree with it but they never use this word in reference to me. It’s a “boys, boys” thing. They are boys who listen to rap but haven’t gone through the struggle. They are living in a land where they are the majority and well they are exercising their black privilege. They do however sensor themselves around their elders and don’t use this language in the presence of people outside their race. I think if they were to use this word around their parents, grandparents etc., they would get a long lecture and probably a slap to boot.
I don’t use the word, because to me, it has never been a term of endearment even if Biggie and Tupac used these words (forgive me, I grew up in the 90s and couldn’t mention any of today’s rappers).
I remember when I was at school, I had just started secondary school so around 11 years old. A white guy got into an argument with an Ashian shop keeper. I was buying my magazine on the way home from school and after hurling abuse at the shop keeper he turned to me and said that they were “bloody N’s, just like you, you dirty N”. I went home and straight to my room, I was shocked and replaying the incident over in my mind but never spoke about it as I just couldn’t believe it had happened. So to me, the N-word, will never be a positive one.
So while yes, I get it, the rap culture is a multi-billion dollar business and they use the word a lot so people feel that they can use the word as they like the song and it is in the song but it isn’t right. Please sensor yourselves. In the same way you wouldn’t curse in front of your mothers, I don’t need to hear those words out of your mouth.
So this is why it’s offensive to me and you can take my advise or say I am being sensitive. If however you feel in your privilege that you are entitled to say this word just note that somebody else may feel equally justified to give you a negative reaction if you use this word in their presence.